Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How do you like them apples?

I swore to myself that I wasn’t going to write about religion anymore on this blog. I started rethinking that in light of yesterday’s comments because I have a post swirling around in my head that is my attempt at answering the question of why some people insist on a literal interpretation of the Bible. I’m not going to write that today. I may never write it.

Today, I’m sharing just two little nuggets. The first shows how two people can read the same Bible and come away with completely different conclusions. The second goes in the “if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?” file.

Nugget the first:

Two guys are out mountain biking and come upon a man going the other direction pushing his bike. The bike has a flat tire. The first stops to offer assistance, but doesn’t have a spare tube because he already repaired a flat of his own.

The second has a spare tube and patch kit, and is able to repair the flatted tube with a patch.

Afterwards, the second says to the first “I’m glad I was able to repair the tube. I really didn’t want to give him my spare. I just thought about him coming onto the trail unprepared and couldn’t help thinking of the parable of the ten virgins.”

The first just nods his head but thinks to himself “sure, I should come prepared—ten virgins and all—but just because someone else isn’t, shouldn’t I be the Good Samaritan?”

Nugget the second: I have no idea which of the participants were laughing in the exchange I’m about to describe, but someone had to be.

May 14,1961 - [LDS Church] Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith announces to stake conference in Honolulu: "We will never get a man into space. This earth is man's sphere and it was never intended that he should get away from it."

Smith, the Twelve's president and next in succession as LDS President, adds: "The moon is a superior planet to the earth and it was never intended that man should go there. You can write it down in your books that this will never happen."

In May 1962, he privately instructs that this view be taught to "the boys and girls in the Seminary System."

On 20 July 1969 U.S. Astronauts are first men to walk on moon. Six months later Joseph Fielding Smith becomes church president.

He was sharing his opinion and he was wrong. I’m OK with that. I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again. Nobody’s perfect.

But if you say something like that publicly, you can bet that more than just those in attendance will get wind of it (in fact, I’m amazed at the efficiency with which information about people’s private lives gets disseminated, but that’s neither here nor there). Fast forward a few years, and as you do, think of the limited payload on a spaceship.

Sep 14,1971 - Apollo 15 astronauts present to President Joseph Fielding Smith a Utah state flag that has traveled with them to the moon.

Awesome. True stuff is the funniest.


  1. So he was thinking that the messiah would come while he was helping change a flat? Oh wait...that's a mixed-mode semi-literal interpretation! Good post...

  2. My nugget says you should capitalize "Bible." Had you referenced it as "a" bible, then the capitalization is not required. But since you clearly said, "the bible," then clearly "Bible" should be capitalized.

    Just sayin'

    (Obviously I'm more concerned with the proper use of the English language than I am with religious parables. Although I'm sure my self-righteous display of proper capitalization lends itself to a parable or two.)

  3. 331: My grin got bigger reading your comment. I know who I'm asking next time I'm struggling with the meaning of a scriptural passage.

    Rabid Runner: I don't know what you're talking about. (How's that for revisionist history?)

  4. Hah! You changed it. Awesome. I've done my good in the world today.

  5. Hah! You changed it. Awesome. I've done my good in the world today.

  6. I'm sure I've read about the Good Spelling Samaritan in the bible. Oh, wait, it's not The Bible so maybe I was reading something else.